The Scrutineering Bay is Badger’s way of taking a hot Grand Prix racing topic and getting people from the Sett involved to put their opinions across. From predicting races, arguing stewards decisions to just deciding who was/is/will be the best, anything is fair game!

The long wait between races is finally over, and here at Badger we simply can’t wait for the European legs of this season to begin. As round 4 is on the horizon, we ask:

“What will happen in Turkey?”

This week’s electic mix of Badgers includes myself, Craig Normansell, Jimmy Von Weeks, Adam Millenueve and kicking the whole thing off, Benson Jammichello:

  • Hispania (possibly the first and only time they’ll appear at the head of any list I create) will be marginally quicker than before. Their aero package will consist of some strategically placed duct tape. Virgin will wish they’d thought of it.
  • Turn eight will continue to inspire F1 fans all over the world. Tilke will continue to live off it.
  • Eddie Jordan will be back.
  • Williams will continue to be rubbish.
  • It will be a battle between the aerodynamic prowess of Red Bull and the KERS system of McLaren.
  • If Red Bull get it right, you won’t see them for dust.
  • Alonso will resume normal service and beat Massa.
  • Someone, somewhere, will mention the Royal Wedding. It might be us.
  • Bernie will continue to stake out his negotiating position. People will actually think it might be the last Turkish GP.
  • Hamilton’s facial fuzz will continue to irritate me beyond belief.

Up next, with a more celestial take on things, is Jimmy:

I’ve tried a different approach for this week’s prediction piece. I have, for the first time in my life, read a horoscope (it was in freely distributed commuter paper The Metro, in case you were wondering) and then applied the results to selection of the drivers who will contest the Turkish Grand Prix. And remember, these aren’t simple predictions – this is written in the stars.

Fernando Alonso – Leo: “You have every reasons to look forward to the future with a smile on your face. It’s time to start living instead of existing.”

Badger’s Interpretation: Cheer up, Fernando, the car’s going to come good eventually! So do the stars suggest Turkey will be the race where Alonso finally kick-starts his 2011 title bid? A podium could well be in the offing.

Lewis Hamilton – Capricorn: “You’ve finally put the past behind you.”

Badger’s Interpretation: That China win was cathartic, Lewis, and banished the idea that these new Pirelli boots wouldn’t suit your style. More of the same in Turkey? A strong result seems likely.

Rubens Barrichello – Gemini: “If a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.”

Badger’s Interpretation: But if you’re job is driving the 2011 Williams you should probably start assessing your career options. Seriously, this simply tells us what we already know: Rubens will give his all in Turkey, as he does every grand prix weekend, because he believes Formula One is a worthwhile task.

Heikki Kovalainen – Libra: “What may feel good right now could feel different this time next week.”

Badger’s Interpretation: Heikki, don’t eat the prawns! Eat the chicken, by all means, but don’t eat those prawns.

Timo Glock – Aries: “New romance interests you in an ex who seems to have done a lot of growing up and who appears to be preparing to make a second play for your heart.”

Badger’s Interpretation: Pretty clear this: Timo Glock’s F1-ex (that’d be the Jordan team, who he made his debut for in 2004) have done a lot of growing up (they’ve morphed in to Force India via Midland and Spyker since then) and will make a bid to get him back (in other words re-sign him for the 2012 campaign). Who’d have seen that coming? Thanks, stars!

How accurate could the horoscopes be this weekend? Well, we’ll only really know after the race on Sunday. By the way, if at least two of them come true, his name will be “Mystic” Jimmy!

Adam dusts off his apron and chef’s hat and has served us up a treat:

Another grand prix prediction calls for another pie of possibility, this time looking at the front runners and their likelihood* of victory come Sunday afternoon. Vettel’s still in the best position, and should he fail team-mate Webber could be there to pick up the pieces – but then Hamilton’s been living up to his racey reputation, so he’s got a slightly better chance. Jenson’s also looking good, on a par with Mark because, like the Aussie, he looks to be lacking in outright pace over his teammate. Massa’s got a generous slice of piece of pie because of his fine history of enjoying Turkish delight and, well, he’d be a popular victor – it’d be great to see him fight for leadership within the Scuderia. The Mercedes pair are in there too, purely because in terms of championship ranking (driver numbers) they’re in the top 8 racers. The ‘someone else’ slice shows that Renault for sure have a great shot at potentially pulling off a surprise…

*likelihood is based wholly on random opinion, but is never wrong…

And finally it’s my turn:

  • HRT’s “upgrade” will be nothing more than a good valet and a change of oil, but due to not paying the Kwik-Fit fee they won’t be able to make the weekend.
  • No-one Turkish will be in the main grandstand. Bernie will still say the country has a future in the sport.
  • Every time the Red Bull drivers get close to one another on the track, even outside the cars, the paddock will collectively think “go on, do it again, please!”.
  • Lotus will continue to sit just behind the midfield and way ahead of the other “new” teams. I will continue to refer to this as the Lotus Position. Benson will continue to smirk at it.
  • Bets will be made on which Vitaly Petrov will turn up in Turkey, with most of them towards the re-appearence of the Duke of Hazard.
  • Jarno Trulli could have the best weekend of his Lotus career, but still manage to complain about something.
  • I will still struggle to keep up with tyre stops and where everyone is in the race as it unfolds.
  • Lewis Hamilton will get the best from his car and thank the team.
  • Jenson Button won’t, and claim “it was OK before I went into qualifying” for an unprecedented 12th time.
  • The only time Ferrari get my attention is with their after-race excuses/press releases.

So there you have it, some predicitions from the Sett, and as always, feel free to add yours below.